By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
11:42 AM EDT, September 3, 2013
During the preseason, the Ravens' starting offense occasionally sputtered.
Quarterback Joe Flacco delivered two touchdown passes, and also was intercepted four times, while getting accustomed to new targets.
Running back Ray Rice rushed for 79 yards and seven touchdowns on 27 carries, but downplayed the significance of the preseason as far as gauging a team's effectiveness.
Overall, the Ravens averaged 311.5 yards and scored 119 points in four preseason games.
The usual reminder about not reading too much into preseason games probably applies here, especially considering it's the defending Super Bowl champions.
Teams are traditionally trying not to tip their hand and reveal too much about their offense, primarily using the games to evaluate the merits of younger players.
Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell says the Ravens' offense could display some different characteristics now that the games actually count.
"I'm not going to say 'a lot different,' but you're going to see some things different than what we've done previously probably here or there," Caldwell said. "We're not giving away any trade secrets, but there could be a wrinkle here and there. That's part of the preseason. You're trying to get younger guys to learn and develop within the process, and so we're trying to bring them along. Oftentimes, you have to do it slowly, so you're trying to get the basic fundamentals of it, and probably that was what Ray was referring to when he said vanilla because you are working on the basics.
"You've got to be good at your fundamentals, blocking, catching, all of those little things. Then, you start to expand and grow from there. Once you start to face an opponent that you're preparing for an extended period of time, you're going to try to utilize things that put you in the best position against those particular looks. So, you may see a couple of things that are a little different."